How to overcome average sales results.
School fundraising tends to do better when prizes are offered to students. More is not always better, but in this case, using additional incentives is a must. You're leaving money on the table if you rely only on the fundraising company's standard prize program to motivate your students. There are two places your students will see the basic prize program. The first is at the kickoff assembly on a display table, and the second is inside their packet. Once the hype of the kickoff is over, most students will forget about these prizes.
If your looking to improve your school fundraiser results, you've probably considered using additional incentives. Examples include top-seller prizes and prize drawings. And since you're probably paying for them out of your budget, you should want to get the most out of them. Therefore, you must do more by figuring out how to engage your sellers creatively. How you motivate them is as crucial as what you motivate them with. Once your fundraiser is over is not the time to wish that you had done more. Why leave anything to chance? Learn about fundraiser incentives that boost excitement and results.
What follows are some creative ways you can implement your additional fundraising incentives:
Make Your Incentives Stand Out
What good are incentives if your students don't get to see them during your sale? You can keep enthusiasm at a fever pitch by constantly parading your prizes in front of your students in a variety of ways:
- Wheel your additional prize incentives into the cafeteria during lunch on a cart so students can see them close up. If possible, walk up and down each aisle so that everyone can get a close-up of the prizes. And you don't need to say much. If your incentives are good enough, they will speak for themselves.
- If your school makes morning video announcements, you'll want to ensure that your prizes are displayed behind the presenter as they discuss them.
- Make sure your big prizes are on display so parents can see them.
- Put them in the office where everyone can see them, or place them in a prominent yet secure display case.
- Make unique signs for your prizes if they'll be in a display case or on morning video announcements like 'Top Seller Prize' or 'Grand Prize'.
Promote Your Sale Using Daily Prize Drawings
If you haven't used daily prize drawings to promote your additional incentives, you should strongly consider it. Here are some tips:
- Create a nicely decorated drawing box placed in a strategic location.
- It will also be essential to have a sign above it that says, 'DRAWING BOX' in big, bold letters.
- Or better yet, have a parent volunteer hold the box as the students walk into the school.
- Encourage your fundraising volunteers to get creative by:
- Ask your students questions like, "Have you sold enough to turn in your coupon today?" as they walk up to drop off their prize coupon. Whoever handles the coupon box should also announce to the students when the drawing will occur on that day.
- If you can, convince them to dress up as a unique character or in some school-related theme that can add to the excitement.
- Don't just announce the winners daily; have them come up and claim their prize in front of everyone.
- If you don't have a morning assembly where everyone is together simultaneously, do it during lunch.
- If you make morning announcements on video, have the winners come to the video location to claim their prize on camera as everyone watches. This will inspire others to sell so that they will also have a chance to win.
Advertise Your Fundraising Incentives
- Get creative by convincing a group of volunteers to make posters advertising your incentives and place them around your school for all to see.
- Send notices home to parents reminding them about your incentives and how the students can win.
- Advertise your top-seller prize on the school marquee, and then, once the fundraiser is over, place the winner's name up there for everyone to see.
- Make sure your daily announcements over the intercom are exciting and creative. Don't just announce that there is a fundraiser going on and to 'please get out there and sell'. This information is boring and will not get much response from your students. Instead, insert additional one-line sentences that engage the students. These one-liners can be short and to the point, like, "How many of you have sold enough to win the ___________________?" or "How many of you have already reached your sales goal?" or "Who thinks they're going to be the top seller in the school? Does everyone remember what the top seller prize is?"
Incorporating additional incentives into your school fundraiser will take some work, but the potential results should be well worth the effort.
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Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.